The Macs

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

hopefully not another crop failure

 We are still sick here. Ugh. Everyone is slowly getting better, but it has been a long week. I even got sick yesterday. Just a cold, so I am thankful for that...but man, it stinks to be sick in the summer!

You wouldn't want to see any pictures of us this week. We are a wreck. So, here are a few of us planting pumpkins before we went on our "vacation". 

 Pumpkins are my favorite thing to grow in our garden. I love having lots of pumpkins around in the fall. This is the beginnings of our little pumpkin patch.

 Joel always laughs at me because I get so excited about planting pumpkins and then he usually ends of doing all the work. But, Levi thinks that gardening is his and daddy's job. And really, who would document our memories if I wasn't taking the pictures? I promise I'll water and pull weeds, honey!

 Griffin wants to be part of the action so badly. Instead he has to be contained in his walker because otherwise his mouth would be full of dirt. Someday, little boy.

 "Look mom! I have pumpkins on my head." :)

 Levi watches everything his daddy does so carefully. He doesn't miss anything.

 And when he's not watching his daddy he is helping and trying to be just like him.

And this is what Griffin and I did. Stand in the middle of the garden and watch the boys work. We were so helpful.

Our garden has been quite a huge failure this year. The heat and drought has been so hard on it. Bummer. So I am hoping that my pumpkins make up for the rest of my crop failures. I am quickly learning that gardening may not be my best skill!

Monday, July 23, 2012

colorado or bust

We've been on vacation. Well, I'm not really sure if I would call it a vacation...but that was the plan. We left for Colorado last Sunday and were so excited to get away for a week and escape the Kansas heat. But this year our vacation was definitely a bust. Total bummer. This is how it went down.
After five hours of driving and one hour of little brother screaming the car was finally peaceful. We were beginning to wonder if the long drive was worth it. Maybe we should have just stayed home. But eight hours later we were hanging out with our dear friends and we decided it was totally worth it...screaming and all.

I didn't take any pictures except on my phone but Laura sent me this sweet picture of our boys. They played hard. The weather was so beautiful in Colorado...trampoline jumping, swinging, running, swimming, talking on the porch, snacking, and s'mores making...all day long. Levi had so much fun. And I think Griffin was really wishing he knew how to walk so he could chase after these boys. I was trying to talk Joel into moving the farm to Colorado. He said it wasn't possible. Bummer.

(Laura just sent me a few more...proof that I was actually on this trip too!)

We left Colorado Springs on Tuesday afternoon to head up to my grandparents cabin in the mountains.

It was just as I remembered. Beautiful and peaceful. I love going to the cabin with my family and I was so looking forward to spending time there. We spent the evening laying in the hammock and playing tractors in the wood chips. No internet and no phone service. Perfect.

Shortly after we put Levi to bed that night he threw up. Ugh. The rest of the trip pretty much went down hill from there. Just think...lying on the bed watching movies (I have way to many Boz and Veggie Tales songs running through my head right now), high fever, not eating, waking up all night...everything that shouldn't happen on vacation. My sweet grandma took Griffin on lots of walks to keep him happy. He started running a fever the next day.

There were times when we thought they were getting better and squeezed in a few fun moments. We really needed to get out of the house.

We even decided to go into the national park one day and give it a try. Everyone was feeling a little better. This was the part of the trip I was really looking forward to. Hiking on the trails and picnicking in the mountains. I have such good memories of doing both of those things with Cora and Levi. We drove just a little way into the national park for our picnic and by the time we got there Levi was asleep.

 Griffin wasn't too thrilled with the whole picnic idea either.

Levi slept through our picnic and when he woke up this is what we were dealing with. Definitely not a good day to try hiking. Back to the cabin to watch more movies.

The most adventurous we got was hauling pine cones on the deck. We kept thinking maybe Levi was getting better but on Thursday night he was running a really high fever again. He was miserable. We decided it was time to go home. Goodbye hiking. Goodbye cute family picture in the mountains. Goodbye trip to IKEA. Goodbye going back to Colorado Springs to hang out with friends some more. Hello twelve hour car ride with sick kids. And to make things worse, Joel threw up as we were getting ready to leave Friday morning. I was the last one standing.

I won't bore you with the details, but let's just say that the trip home was one of the longest days ever. I was feeling sorry for myself. We really needed a break from our everyday and this sickness stuff was really messing up my plans. But as we were leaving Friday morning the news of the Aurora movie theatre shooting was all over the TV and radio. Such heartache. I can't imagine what so many families and friends were dealing with that morning and for many more days and months to come. And then I remembered a time when Joel and I were driving back from the cabin all alone, in a quiet car right after Cora died. I would have done anything to have a crying little girl in the back seat. It gave me some much needed perspective. I was thankful that I was going home with my family...we were a little sick but we were together. I needed that reminder.

Saturday morning we took Levi into immediate care. It was a little traumatizing but after being checked by the doctor, blood work, and a chest xray they figured out he had pneumonia. What?! How in the world do you get pneumonia in the summer? Crazy.

The rest of our "vacation" looked a lot like this. We realized this weekend that this was the first time since we moved here eight years ago that we were all home all weekend without anything to do (except a trip to the doctor). We don't have true "weekends" here on the farm. For some reason the cattle think they need to eat two times a day. Sheesh. That really breaks into a girl's weekend (actually it really breaks into my hubby's weekend...but I really like to have him around!). I've tried to argue with Joel that they could probably miss just one meal, but apparently that's not the case. So spending the weekend together at home just hanging out was a really nice change...and a good end to our vacation even if it really was a bust this year.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

hauling beans & helping mama

Levi is really into hauling things in his loader tractor lately. He kept wanting to haul his fruit snacks but apparently one pack is just not enough hauling material...he wanted like three or four packs. Hauling fruit snacks gets a little expensive so we had to come up with a new plan. Now Levi has his very own tub of beans so that he can haul beans to his little hearts content. He loves it.

Sometimes he hauls beans inside and sometimes he hauls beans outside. Today we were outside.

I am getting ready for my sister's baby shower this weekend and came up with the brilliant idea that I could cut fabric outside while Levi hauled his beans and Griffin took a nap. Multi-tasking, right?

My plan worked great...I got a whole ten minutes worth of work done.

Pretty soon there was a pair of little dirty hands digging through my fabric.

"You like my hat, mommy?"

Then he realized that my cutting mat made a pretty good road for his truck. 

And that my basket of fabric was a good place to dump his loads of beans.

Before I knew it he had overtaken my whole work space. I pretty much got nothing done, but he sure had fun. Talk about productive...not.

I love this age. Two year olds are awesome. But sometimes it seems impossible to get things done. And learning how to teach and discipline in a way that is loving and life giving?! Sheesh. That is hard...and humbling. 

Our pastor is teaching through Proverbs this summer. His sermon on Sunday was "Wisdom and the Family". It was such a challenging sermon. I have been rereading and praying through some of the verses this week. I love this verse:

In a reverent and worshipful fear of the Lord there is strong confidence, 
and his children shall always have a place of refuge.
Proverbs 14:26 (Amplified Bible)

When we are in love with Jesus it permeates our homes.

I won't even go into the verses about wisdom for wives. Let's just say I have a lot to work on! ;)

If you want to listen to the sermon yourself click here for the video (the mp3 isn't up yet). I just may need to listen to it again too.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

sweet corn

It is sweet corn time again in Kansas. My father-in-law has the best garden. Every year we all get together and freeze sweet corn and then he lets us take some home. It is so great to have sweet corn in your freezer in the middle of the winter. Yum.

My in-laws are the hardest working people I know. They had gotten up really early to start and by the time the boys and I arrived they had already picked and husked all the corn. 

Levi and I got to work. He stayed outside and helped my sisters-in-law wash the corn. I went inside and helped my mother-in-law cut the corn off the cob. (I think I got the easy job because it was HOT I said, they are the hard workers!)

Judging by how wet Levi was when they were done, I'm not exactly sure how helpful he was.

But whatever he was doing, he was definitely having fun.

I forgot to take a picture of the piles of corn. There were wheelbarrows full.

After we cut all the corn off the cob we got it ready for freezing. Go here if you want the recipe. The boys and I went home for nap time before all the corn had cooled. I think in the end we ended up with 109 quart bags of sweet corn. I would say my father-in-law had a successful harvest. :) Ours on the other hand, wasn't the best. Somehow it always seems to work out that way.

A certain little boy now has a new fave...sweet corn!

He will chew on the cob forever. It makes dinner much more relaxing for all of us.

But watch out if you try to take it away from him. He is very protective.

He doesn't even give up when he is tired. He just lays his head right on cob and keeps chewing.

Sweet corn really is that good! :)